PUC lifts net metering cap

Jun 27, 2017

BY: CCNH-LFDA Highlights

The New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission (PUC) has lifted a cap on payments for surplus electricity generated by customers with solar panels.

Until now, utilities had to pay for the kilowatt hours those customers generated but didn't use--up to a point. There was a statewide limit on how much electricity, in total, solar customers could sell back to the grid. The PUC has now eliminated that cap.

The PUC also rejected a request from utilities that solar customers get docked for the full cost of distribution charges. Distribution charges are the part of your electricity bill that goes to maintaining the grid, not generating electricity. Solar customers will now pay 25% of the usual rate for those charges--higher than nothing, which is what they paid before, but lower than the 100% called for by utility companies.

The PUC said it may change the rules in the future, after completing several studies on the impact of residential solar panels in New Hampshire.

Supporters of the ruling argue that it will encourage the installation of more residential solar panels, generating clean electricity, helping customers lower their utility bills, and creating jobs.

Opponents argue that the ruling still forces customers without solar panels to pay a larger share of distribution costs while solar customers freeload.

How do you think New Hampshire should rebate solar customers? Share your opinion in the comments.

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